WASHINGTON—Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. has filed a formal complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, accusing 22 companies of infringing on Toyo's design patents.
The respondents—manufacturers, importers and sellers of passenger and light truck tires—infringed on eight of Toyo's U.S. design patents by making, importing and selling passenger and light truck tires using Toyo's patented designs, the Cypress, Calif.-based tire maker said.
Toyo seeks an ITC exclusion order banning the infringing tires from the U.S., as well as cease-and-desist orders prohibiting the sale of those tires already in this country.
The claims primarily involve tread and/or sidewall design patents, according to the complaint, which cites six Chinese tire makers, one Thai tire maker, 14 U.S.-based tire distributors and one China-based distributor as the offending parties.
The complaint identifies 11 individual tire brands and models as those that allegedly violate Toyo's patents: Concours A/T; Durun Terrain Grabber M/T; Lexani LX-Six; LionHart LH-Three; Mark Ma Dakar M/T; Pioneer A/T; Sunny SN3890; Thunderer M/T R405; Tri-Ace Dub; Wanli S-1089; and Winrun KF770.
Toyo claims these products infringe on patents used in making its Toyo Open Country A/T and Proxes 4 and Nitto Trail Grappler M/T lines.
The Chinese tire makers identified by Toyo are: Doublestar Dong Feng Tyre Co. Ltd.; Guangzhou South China Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.; Shandong Linglong Tyre Co. Ltd.; Shandong Yongtai Chemical Group Co. Ltd.; South China Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.; and Weifang Shunguchang Rubber & Plastic Co. Ltd. The Thai tire maker is Svizz-One Corp. Ltd.
U.S.-based tire distributors identified in Toyo's complaint are: American Omni Trading Co.; Dunlap & Kyle/Gateway Tire & Service; Lexani Tires; MHT Luxury Alloys; RTM Wheel & Tire; Simple Tire; Tirecrawler.com; Tire & Wheel Master Inc.; Turbo Wholesale Tires Inc.; Unicorn Tire Corp.; Vittore Wheel & Tire; West KY Customs; Wheel Warehouse Inc.; and WTD Inc.
Toyo also identified one overseas-based distributor: Hong Kong Tire-Ace Tire Co. Ltd. of China.
Toyo said it is taking this step to protect the company, its customers and associates from unfair competition by enforcing its intellectual property rights.